I had such a wonderful & moving experience yesterday at the Solace SF Help Portrait Event! HELP PORTRAIT, for those who haven’t heard of it before, is a community of photographers who come together from all across the world to use their photography skills to give back to the local community. Normally, Help Portrait is a global event happening across the world on one specific day, but yesterday I was lucky enough to
be part of a special event for some of the deserving people here in San Francisco. This specific event was in collaboration with SOLACE SF, an amazing organization that provides support for local sex workers including women who are survivors of human trafficking.
I truly love volunteering with Help Portrait, this was the second event I was lucky enough to be a part of, and every time I leave I feel incredibly grateful for having the opportunity to work with these amazing men and women. It’s funny how a little bit of hair, makeup, photography and fun can uplift someone’s spirits and make them feel truly valued. Of course I love the photography aspect of the event, but I enjoy the time I get to just talk with these men and women even more. It’s amazing what you’ll hear if you just give them the opportunity to talk and tell you what’s on their minds, and sometimes that’s all they really want is just someone to listen and care what they have to say. The women I was able to shoot yesterday were absolutely wonderful, and by the time I left my checks were sore from talking and laughing with them all day!
I absolutely can not wait until December 8th when I’ll be able to volunteer again with Help Portrait during the global event. If you are a photographer, hair/makeup artist, or just want to volunteer and be a part of such an amazing movement check out the HELP PORTRAIT SITE so that you’ll be up to date on all the latest news and events in your area!
These are just a handful of the amazing photographers who volunteered at the event, but there were a ton who filtered through during the day! These people, and all of the other volunteers, are just incredibly fabulous people and I was thrilled to get to spend the day with them!
I was so thrilled that I got to meet JEREMY COWART during this event. Not only is he an incredible celebrity portrait photographer, but he’s also the founder of the Help Portrait movement. He’s a very kind & genuine person who is just trying to spread understanding, acceptance & respect for all, one event at a time. It’s honestly amazing how the simple idea of finding someone in need and providing them with a quality portrait can end up having such a big impact – be it just a simple smile to a restored feeling of self worth.
Try as you might, you can’t have an event like this without a few shenanigans, apparently the heat from all the flashes and/or our smokin’ hot models set off the fire alarms. Thankfully it ended up not being an issue, but we still got a visit from the local fire department. I’d bet these guys would have felt more comfortable surrounded by fire rather then a bunch of photographers with cameras in hand, but they were good sports a played along for a bit!
All in all, it was an incredible day that I won’t soon forget, and I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to the next one! If I could change anything about Help Portrait it would only be to do it more often! By-yearly, or seasonally would be fabulous!! Honestly though, I’m so excited to see how the still young Help Portrait organization will grow and develop into the future, and I promise I will be there as the journey continues! 🙂